The Mountain of the Lord, Day 3

“The Mountain of the Lord, Day 3”
Isaiah 2:4b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

He shall judge between the nations,
and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

Isaiah 2:4

The End of War

On Mount Zion, the royal city of God, justice radiates from the throne of the King. More powerful than weapons of war, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, RSV). When human beings encounter God, who is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), they will realize the futility of violence to achieve their ends. Disarmament will come from hearts transformed by grace rather than from human arbitration. 

King of Peace

Utopian schemes and philosophies come and go through the centuries, often with violence and war, but the way of the Lord is humble and quiet—a peaceful king riding on a donkey.

Exult greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
Behold: your king is coming to you,
a just savior is he,
Humble, and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
The warrior’s bow will be banished,
and he will proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion will be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 9:9-10

King of Kings

The kings of the earth will bow down before the divinely-appointed king of peace, sings the Psalmist:

May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute,
the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.

May all kings bow before him,
all nations serve him.

Psalm 72:10-11

Christ the Eternal Tao

Centuries before the Magi from the East brought their gifts to the Christ Child, the Eastern sage Lao Tzu intuited the character of the Tao/Logos as prophesied by Isaiah:

When the world has the Tao
Fast horses are retired to fertilize the grounds
When the world lacks the Tao
Warhorses must give birth on the battlefield

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 46, translated by Derek Lin

In the Chinese Bible, Tao (Way or Universal Principle) translates the Greek Logos (Word) in St. John’s Prologue.

They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.

Isaiah 2:4b

6 Replies to “The Mountain of the Lord, Day 3”

  1. Dear GMC, you teach us so much. Each day brings an opportunity for renewed hope and peace in our hearts, minds and spirits. As you taught me once, the journey is ongoing, one day at a time. Thank you for today’s reflection.

  2. If only it were true: “One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
    nor shall they train for war again.” Isaiah 2:4

    Horses birthing and dying during war,
    Offers bleak scenes of battlefields.
    Horses plowing mother earth in fertile fields,
    Offers hope for life forever more.

  3. Dear GMC, Thank you for introducing us to Lao Tzu in your reflection. I am immersed in his collection of verses on Living the Tao. They are potent and profound rules to live by and align themselves with Jesus’ teachings, especially on love and service of neighbor. He, too, speaks of the eternal mystery that eludes human comprehension, but finds character in the human heart. Thank you, GMC, for always going that extra step for us.

    1. A good book for discerning the similarities and differences between Taoism and Christianity is Christ the Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene. Not all books about Taoism are helpful guides. Damascene soundly integrates the insights of Lao Tzu, Scripture, the Church Fathers, and the desert fathers. Books and articles by John C. H. Wu are also good. Of course, there are many others, but one needs to be discerning and distinguish the personal God of the Bible from various forms of monism or pantheism.

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